'Knees together' judge says he is resigning from the bench

11 March, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Federal Court Justice Robin Camp leaves a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in a Calgary hotel on Sept. 9 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Todd Korol

A Canadian federal judge who asked a woman in a rape trial why she couldn't keep her knees together resigned Thursday after a disciplinary council recommended he be removed from the bench.

Justice Robin Camp of the Alberta Federal Court made his comments in 2014, but it wasn't until this week that he was asked to resign after a full 15-month investigation was made into his conduct. The Canadian Judicial Council said Camp's conduct was "manifestly and profoundly destructive" in regard to the impartiality and integrity of the bench.

"Sexual assault and gender-based violence is in no form acceptable and we will continue to stand up for victims", Wilson-Raybould added.

Norman Sabourin, Executive Director and Senior General Council at the Canadian Judicial Council, told CTV News Channel removals are recommended when the "public has lost confidence in a judge's ability to discharge the duties of office". During the course of the trial, Camp repeatedly referred to the complainant as "the accused". "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

Court transcripts from the 2014 trial in Calgary show that Camp, who was a provincial court judge at the time, called the complainant "the accused" numerous times and told her "pain and sex sometimes go together".

The rape retrial past year of footballer Ched Evans took the controversial step of bringing in the alleged victim's ex-boyfriends to describe her sexual habits. The decision comes almost three years after Camp accused a 19-year-old rape survivor of not doing more to prevent being raped, an attack that occurred above a sink at a party.

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"Public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the judge incapable of executing the judicial office", the council wrote.

Camp also questioned why the woman didn't "just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you", saying that she could have avoided the attack if she had turned her pelvis "slightly" away.

"I'm very sorry that, on reflection and rereading what I said, that I intimidated her, using facetious words", Camp said at his testimony in September. A new trial ordered by the Alberta Court of Appeal also acquitted him.

Camp went on to acquit the man accused in the case.

"I'm just really happy and proud of myself", said the woman. Four of the judges on the committee dissented and agreed with Camp his removal was not warranted.

The South African-born judge testified in the December hearing that he had "a nonistent" knowledge of Canadian criminal law and had not received training on sex assault cases.

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